What was the main motive for which you decided to create an innovation center within an existing company?
Our company has been developing complex payroll and human resource systems since its inception in 1991. This year we are celebrating its 30th anniversary. In the meantime, we have expanded and today we are already in 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
We have other countries planned for it, maybe later this year. Development and innovation in this field are also related to this. We are also taught by our existing partners and clients. For us, innovation is the key to radical change, the goal of which is to digitize and automate processes in the world of human resources.
When you started thinking about the idea of an innovation team and involving young people in your work, did disagreements or concerns arise as well?
These are not dissenting opinions. Our company, a high-tech IT company on one foot, has to keep pace with the changing of times with the other foot. Rather, it is a significant acceleration of our company in order to become a technology leader and support new and innovative solutions and ideas. So, be an innovator and a pioneer in the entire HR industry.
You have decided to organize a hackathon for the world of startups, UX studios, and SW homes. How do you plan to engage your experts from the innovation team during the event?
Rightly, the goal is not only to engage skilled market experts and innovators, but also to deepen the experience and knowledge of our staff in development. We want our chosen ones to always be the team leader for every team that competes in the Hackathon.
For our expert to be able to help, he or she should direct the sharing of his experience with other experts within the team and thus achieve the best possible results.
Source: Archive / Al-Anwar Company
When do you say the hackathon was successful? What are your expectations?
We are very much looking forward to the teams’ new ideas and are very curious about the proposals they will come up with. We also created a Hackathon in order to look at something we deal with on a daily basis, even someone who does not suffer from “operational night blindness” and perhaps come up with a way to understand the topic in a different, innovative and modern way.
It would be a success for us if we could discover at least one innovative and functional prototype of a solution in one of the assigned topics when evaluating the Hackathon.
What do you think are the main problems of HR operations today? If you want to name 3 things that should change ASAP?
I will say frankly, “Get ready to take on the challenge of outsourcing management activities within companies.” It is clear that this field is a trend in the most developed countries of the world. Simple focus on core business activities within each company and outsourcing of administrative support activities is key to increasing the efficiency and agility of any modern company.
The lack of experience of HR managers in managing this shift and their willingness to undergo such a change at all is a major challenge in our latitudes. Small: Move to full automation and understand the context of outsourcing as a more cost-effective alternative to internal payroll processing and personnel management. Along with full digitization in the field of payroll processing and administrative activities for employees.
How did you bring together a team of people for the innovation department? Did anyone help you?
The team is still working and has more or less established itself. The executives of the company, motivated by the desire to speed up and in charge of their areas within the company, gathered, and a strike force was formed. However, we must not forget any employee of our company who participates in the implementation of the challenge and goal on a daily basis.
Source: Archive / Al-Anwar Company
What did this process teach you? Or do you know of any mistakes you would like to avoid in the future?
Unified purpose and strong leadership are the capabilities that help us meet the challenges in our Elanor Group. We set initial expectations, and therefore we had to gather those people from our company who have sufficient decision-making ability and at the same time extensive knowledge of the perspective of our product range, including technical requirements.
It is now a good decision to create a small management team, a professional team and with the increased potential of the project to expand it with other experts.
How the innovation team works across the company and processes. Do they have independence?
It must be taken from several sides. From the point of view of this systematic innovation, the tasks in our company are clearly and firmly divided, because we have been dealing with it for 30 years. In terms of strategic and long-term visions, the team is a bit smaller. Innovation is the future success of our company and forms another basis for our future development and stability.
From the standpoint of innovations through startups, the goal is to identify and evaluate highly exciting solutions in the environment of the truly international HR world in which we operate. The real deployability of these solutions. In this area, the team is independent until the presentation stage to our senior management.
Based on previous experience, can this team work completely remotely without a personal connection?
The answer is simple. definitely yes. Our company is completely digital, and we have no problem working remotely. After all, we are now only operating in 11 countries, which is no different from fully digital in these times and in our business.
How to create the right conditions for working within a remote team? Have you introduced any new benefits to your employees to improve working conditions in the home office?
A certain part of our company has been operating in a partially hybrid system for a long time. Another part was ported to this system, but again, without any problems, we were able to manage the process very quickly.
Source: Archive / Al-Anwar Company
Within Elanor, there is the possibility to create more small teams, respectively. Working groups that would focus on specific goals?
Of course, this is already happening in our country. We have different small worlds under individual large units. Therefore, the work groups work very efficiently and are able to solve some challenges and projects in a shorter period of time. Of course, we still have work to do, but due to the nature of our work, which is highly focused on projects and management, it is a very popular type of operation for us.
Within the innovation section, you have the first results behind you, which indicate that you are on the right track. What other plans and what activity are you satisfied with so far?
The goal is to support development and build the innovative future of our international community. The new innovative solutions segment is very dynamic in this sector and we want to be a part of it. At the same time, we have always wanted and will continue to work with skilled and creative people, whom we are happy to give the opportunity and terms of implementation.
In 2018, we started cooperation in Slovakia with the University of Economics in Bratislava, where we are engaged in teaching students on the subject of wage processing. We provide them with the possibility of an internship and we are also the guarantors of the final theses, which have been awarded several times by the same university.
Has people’s attitude toward the company changed recently? Do you feel that it is more difficult today to retain qualified employees compared to the situation a few years ago?
Our company enjoys a historically high commitment and longevity of employees. Our employees often work with us throughout their working lives. At Elanore there is an almost family friendly culture, we try to meet our employees with meaningful ideas, but in case of any problems we also try to help.
Positive and almost professional for the family team. Sometimes it sounds cliched but the best description is that Elanor Group is an international company with elements of a local family business. Significant personal relationships, high professionalism and experience with a sense of employee satisfaction are something we support extensively and a pillar of our future.
What are the attractive benefits to them today and what benefits do they take for granted?
The order of priority and the attractiveness of benefits in every company has now largely gone beyond. At this time, the home office is no longer a benefit, but a form of business. People are starting to lean again towards the financial form of benefits and many other benefits that provide employees with a sense of satisfaction and care from their employer.
If someone on the team is interested in business and wants to do business on their own within the company, can they be beneficial to the team?
It is clearly a phenomenon often seen in society. Entrepreneurship is defined as the ability to take higher risks while seeing higher added value. Its success and failure is directly proportional to its willingness to take risks and act on its own.
It often happens that a person says that he no longer has the desire to take risks and wants to share his experience with others, to be part of a larger whole. Of course, this case works in the opposite direction.
Source: Archive / Al-Anwar Company
On the contrary, what benefit will this employee bring to you? Does it make sense to hire such a thoughtful and ambitious person in a company?
Collaboration is collaboration when at least two parties aim to create something together. This thinking may be, for example, the arrival of an employee from the work environment who wants to benefit from his experience and wants to pass it on to others, or he no longer has the opportunity to transfer his experience higher in his own business. Because it is necessary to be a part of a larger whole.
Each employee has something to offer, it is the job of both parties only to get the best out of each other and to identify the essential qualities and skills that will lead us to mutual success.
What is the impact of the pandemic on the job market, which you see inside Elanor? Have any employees left you, and if so, do you know what the reasons are?
From the perspective of Elanor employees, we don’t envision a dramatic exit. On the contrary, our business is growing and we are constantly looking for new people. However, from the point of view of the labor market in our sector, there is a significant shortage of skilled workers.
In the entire spectrum of the labor market, there is a drastic shift in jobs, particularly in managerial jobs. This shift is also noticeable in production with a deep degree of automation in production.
In conclusion, for about a year and a half we have been living in a situation where most companies are in full home office mode. Did you have to drastically change your usual processes, or are they also adapting to this performance?
Initially, we had to move to a full home office process, which, on the other hand, did not require any drastic change. We’ve been working and operating in the online space for a long time, so it wasn’t a drastic change for us.
On the contrary, we have fully assured that we are able to work without any problems even in the most dangerous situation, and completely without problems, and we can continue to provide our customers with 100% safe and professional service.
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